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Here's why Indonesia should embrace the current bicycle boom for a green, sustainable future.

Amid the pandemic, people have been finding ways to adapt to new habits. From increasing our fitness level to nourishing our bodies with wholesome food, health has become the priority in our day-to-day life. We learned that there is no better way to strengthen our immune system than to exercise regularly, eat well, get enough sleep, and lead a balanced lifestyle.

The awareness to be more health-conscious and eco-friendly has become a dogma of sorts among urban communities in Indonesia since the mid-2010s, thanks to relentless health and sustainable campaigns led by both for profit and non-profit organizations.

2020 was a challenging year, but not all that happened was bad. There was plenty of good news from Indonesia that provided a dose of optimism.

Here are some of the good news items:

First, although world economic growth was under pressure, startup companies in Indonesia were able to enjoy impressive business growth! By the end of 2020, six startups established by the nation's young entrepreneurs, Gojek, Traveloka, Tokopedia, Bukalapak, OVO, and JD.id, recorded amazing valuations of more than US$1 billion each. In fact, Indonesia has more unicorns than any other country in Southeast Asia.

Second, although international tourism declined, Bali remained a favorite destination in Asia among foreign tourists. Travel platform TripAdvisor ranked Bali in first place in the list of 25 most popular tourist destinations in Asia. Bali was also considered a more romantic honeymoon destination than Hawaii, the Maldives, Thailand and others. Cool!

Every year in Indonesia, the onset of dry season brings with it concerns over the potential impact of forest and land fires. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that fires sometimes occur in the country’s peatland areas, resulting in carbon emissions which can threaten communities and livelihoods. 

But what are peatlands and why are they important?

Peatlands are defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a kind of wetlands, which are critical for preserving global biodiversity, minimising flood risk and helping to address climate change.

The global pandemic continues to test our resolve as a business. But while we address the urgency of protecting the health and well-being of our employees and communities, we also believe that staying the course and maintaining a long-term view on sustainability is crucial.

Continued investment in climate, nature and sustainable development assumes even greater urgency as, for these, there is no vaccine. There is much more to do and now is not the time to take our foot off the pedal, in terms of our commitment to the long term sustainability of our operations.

While these past months have presented unprecedented challenges for businesses, it also presents an opportunity, if seized decisively, to transform the future for the better.

Last November, APRIL Group launched APRIL2030, a set of commitments and concrete actions to bolster achievement of the 2030 United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the next decade as we are convinced sustainability is inseparable from our core business operations.